A verruca is also known as a plantar wart and appears on the sole of the foot. They are the same as warts on any other body part and are caused by a virus, known as human papilloma virus (HPV). They vary in size and are not normally something to worry about, although care should be taken as they can be contagious.


A verruca is a small flat wart on the sole of the foot. It is not usually painful although may be tender when pressed, especially from the sides. The verruca may feel like a small stone under the foot.


Verrucas vary in size from a 1mm to over a centimeter and may vary in shape too. The surface of the verruca is usually covered with small black dots which are blood vessels and it is usually surrounded by hard skin.

Warts and verrucas are very common and nothing to worry about, although should be treated as they are mildly contagious. They are passed on via direct skin to skin contact or from the floors of swimming pools and showers. They can be passed to other areas of the body particularly the fingers. There is a higher risk of passing a verruca on if the skin is damaged or wet.

To avoid passing it on make sure it is covered when swimming by a waterproof plaster or verruca sock. Wearing flip flops when walking barefoot and in the shower is advised and never share towels.


There is no real need to treat a verruca unless it is causing problems or is uncomfortable to walk on. Most will go away on their own within 2 years, although treatments may clear it sooner. These include salicylic acid creams which should be applied daily for several weeks. Salicylic acid plasters are available which cover the area.

Freezing treatments can be performed by a doctor or nurse to freeze burn the verruca away although several treatments may be required. Covering the area with strong adhesive tape such as duct tape has also been known as a treatment method.

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